All right, so let’s face some facts. Yes, Vladimir Putin is what we would call a “bad dude.” Yes, Russia almost certainly played some part in attempting to swing the results of the 2016 election through a combination of social media blathering and, perhaps, hacking into a few poorly-secured email accounts. Yes, we should all be very concerned about the annexation of Crimea and other forms of aggression toward Ukraine, and yes, the Russians are probably lying about how much they are helping U.S. forces wipe out ISIS in Syria. All told, the Russians are not to be liked and not to be trusted.
But let’s face some other, less moralistic facts here. President Trump and the rest of the world need Russia’s cooperation if we are to limit North Korea’s ability to harness a nuclear arsenal capable of destroying three-quarters of the Northern Hemisphere. The U.S. could stand to cultivate an ally in Russia if we are to prevent ISIS from mounting a comeback in Syria, and it damn sure wouldn’t hurt if we could gently pry Moscow away from their partnership with Tehran. The fact is, if we don’t NEED Russia, it certainly doesn’t hurt us to keep an open and friendly line of diplomatic dialogue with them. And this would entirely uncontroversial, but for one thing.
And you know what that one thing is.
Democrats are bound and determined to prove that Donald Trump committed the heinous crime of treason when he collaborated with Russian officials to overthrow the rightfully-groomed heir to the Obama throne, Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton. And for that sin, there is no pardon. Not in their eyes. As far as their concerned, Trump has already been investigated, tried, and convicted. And so they see any attempt he makes to reach out to Putin – to even mention Putin in a less than dastardly light – as simply more evidence that Trump is little more than a Kremlin toady. Congress is trying – in a bipartisan fashion – to handcuff the president’s hands when it comes to Russia, making this the first time in known memory that the President of the United States has been denied the full diplomatic power of the White House.
The title of this article is meant somewhat facetiously – we cannot afford to be so naïve as to actually “love” Russia as a friend, because they have shown no interest in being a true friend to the United States. But that does not automatically make them our enemy, either. The U.S. doesn’t need to cultivate enemies; we have plenty of them to worry about. So let’s spend less time building up tensions with Moscow and more time repairing the damage done by the previous administration’s blunders across the sea.